The Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) Urban Railway Management Board on June 11 signed a contract on the third bid package of the Ben Thanh - Suoi Tien metro line project with Japan’s Hitachi Company. The contractor will maintain the equipment supply.

The 19.7km Ben Thanh-Suoi Tien line will run through districts 1, 2, 9, Binh Thanh and Thu Duc in HCM City and parts of Di An district in neighbouring Binh Duong province.

Of the total length, 2.6km will run underground with three stations. The remaining sections and another 11 stations will be constructed aboveground.

When the line opens in 2016 it will be able to carry 186,000 passengers per day. This figure is expected to triple by 2020 and quintuple by 2040.

The city has plans for seven metro lines, including the 19.7km Ben Thanh-Suoi Tien route.

The city’s urban railway system has a total investment of 236 billion JPY (equivalent to 47 trillion VND). It is expected in full operation by 2018.-VNA